Opportunities for Vietnamese Enterprises to Export Globally

11:05:31 AM | 1/27/2021

Alibaba.com, the global B2B e-commerce platform of Alibaba Group (China) marked a year full of dynamic activities in Vietnam in such a unprecedented situation, with a series of initiatives to accelerate digital transformation, supporting Vietnamese SMEs to overcome, grow, and go global even during the pandemic.

The huge potential to grow

In Vietnam, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) already account for 97% of the total number of businesses operating, and the growth rate of SMEs is still significantly higher compared to large and medium-sized enterprises (According to the announcement of the Vietnam Business White Book 2020 in April 2020). SMEs account for the majority of the service sector or FnB which are vulnerable sectors when the economy experiences fluctuations. The obvious consequence that we can see is that when the Covid-19 pandemic broke out, this was the most heavily affected area, and digital transformation across the board has become a must for SMEs.

With the three Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) signed with the European Union (EVFTA), the ASEAN region and 5 countries (RCEP) and the United Kingdom (UKVFTA) in 2020, the need of digital transformation for businesses to be able to export goods to large markets, participate in global supply chains and leverage advanced technologies, become more critical than ever. Through Alibaba.com, Vietnamese enterprises will be trained on how to set up and operate virtual stores, post products, understand keyword advertising, manage traffic and enquiries, identify consumers’ trends, create video to showcase their products and host livestreaming sessions to reach global buyers despite the challenging time when traditional tradeshows and company visits are disrupted.

"Vietnamese enterprises need to play to their strengths of manufacturing capabilities, high quality products, competitive pricing; and seize the opportunities of reaching global buyers from digital transformation. B2B e-commerce platforms help businesses capitalize on this inevitable trend and grow their business sustainably, easily and effectively. In 2021, we will continue to work with the government, with local SMEs to seek new opportunities and organize events and workshops to help businesses keep up-to-date with the latest global developments and solutions in e-commerce", said Mr. Roger, the General Manager of Alibaba.com Vietnam.

Making it easy to go global

From the mission of Alibaba Group “to make it easy to do business anywhere”, the year 2020 started with the online conference "New and Now 2020 Go Export" to introduce opportunities that B2B cross-border e-commerce has to offer in the context of Covid-19 affecting all firms, and how to leverage the platform’s tools and solutions such as online tradeshows and livestreaming. Then introduced the landmark initiative "Sprout Up" to support Vietnamese SMEs in three key areas - faster onboarding onto the Alibaba.com platform for establishing a global reach, access to solutions designed to accelerate business growth, and tailored services to help SMEs deepen their online trade capabilities. Later in the year, Alibaba.com announced the implementation of the project "100 great Vietnamese exporters", a long-term initiative to honor outstanding local sellers, and offer for Vietnamese SMEs preferential programs on training and consulting to improve sales capacity, marketing capabilities, promoting products as well as ability to plan a wining business strategy.

2020 also marked the year Alibaba.com joins forces with Vietrade - Trade Promotion Agency of the Ministry of Industry and Trade with the aim to increase SMEs digital transformation awareness and accelerate the process by improving their online capabilities and operation skills through tailor-made trainings and initiatives. The 2 parties organized workshops for SMEs in 5 provinces and cities, including Ha Noi, Lao Cai, Da Nang, Can Tho and Ho Chi Minh City. These are big cities, with many important industrial zones and many potential export companies, who are very excited and eager to learn about the global online exporting experiences. Mr. Do Tuan Luong - Deputy Director - Kien Thuan General Service Cooperative, shared: “Our revenue on Alibaba.com has reached 1 million USD. Before joining Alibaba.com, 80% of our revenue comes from the domestic market, 20% from export. After joining Alibaba.com, this ratio is in reverse. The challenges we're facing are how to change our traditional thinking, while the level of competition in the domestic market becomes more intense. Global cross-border trading through online platforms are the most effective solution to help us overcome the difficulties during the Covid time and even further”.

Keep going to reach 10,000 SMEs

With the goal of pledging to support 10,000 Vietnamese SMEs in the next 3 years and accelerating digital transformation, in 2021, Alibaba.com will continue working with the local government, and provide tailored and effective online services and solutions. Starting with 2021, Alibaba.com continues a series of workshops in cooperation with Vietrade, expanding into more types of events including seminars, major events and roadshows in industrial zones. In January and February, Alibaba.com and Vietrade will continue to organize 4 sessions in 4 important industrial provinces and cities in Vietnam, namely Vung Tau, Quang Ninh, Quy Nhon and Buon Me Thuot.

"With the aim of increase and accelerate digital transformation in businesses, we work together with Alibaba.com, a trusted global ecommerce platform to share their experience and best practices and how businesses can leverage them to survive in thrive. Through our partnership with Alibaba.com, we are committed to providing effective activities and training programs for Vietnamese businesses, to help them overcome today's challenges”, said Mr. Hoang Minh Chien - Deputy Director of Vietnam Trade Promotion Center - Ministry of Industry and Trade.

With the advantage and expertise of a leading B2B e-commerce platform, Alibaba.com will continue to provide consulting services, training classes, and user-friendly tools to give SMEs more online opportunities, and support them during an ever-changing global economic and environment situation.

Nam Pham (Vietnam Business Forum)